July 1, 2012

Pay Attention And Read Policies When Buying

Recently I bought my wife some perfume on Amazon as a gift.    Unfortunately shortly after I made the order I noticed that my wife actually still had a nearly full bottle of the same perfume in the other bathroom.  Oops.   I thought she was out but there was a 2nd nearly full bottle I hadn't noticed.    I tried to cancel the order before Amazon shipped it but I was too late.   Also for some reason they didn't ship it via 2 day shipment which we normally got via Amazon Prime.   About a week later the perfume arrived so I went to the Amazon site to check about the return process.

I found the item in my order history and clicked the 'return items' button option.   Only to be hit with this statement :

"For safety reasons, items that are classified as hazardous materials or use flammable liquids or gases cannot be returned to Amazon.com. Customers should dispose of hazardous materials according to Local, State and Federal regulations. Customers should contact their local government or local waste company for directions on how to dispose of Household Hazardous Waste.  "

Dead end.   No button to push to proceed.

That sucks.   OK so I check the page for the item I bought and clearly right under the prices is the following notice that I totally failed to read when I placed the order :

Special Shipping Information: This item is non-returnable and is not available for 2-day shipping due to additional shipping requirements. See details. 

If you follow that 'see details' link then you get a list of all the non-returnable items :

Items that are Not Returnable

Amazon.com does not accept returns of the following items:
  • Items that are classified as hazardous materials or use flammable liquids or gases
  • Computer laptops, desktops, and Kindles more than 30 days after delivery
  • Any product missing the serial number or UPC
  • Downloadable software products
  • Gift cards
  • Pay As You Go (or prepaid) phone cards
  • Prepaid game cards (World of Warcraft, Xbox 360 Live, Wii Points, etc.)
  • Items purchased from sellers other than Amazon.com
  • Some Jewelry orders (Learn more)
  • Some Health & Personal Care items (Learn more)
  • Grocery products (Learn more)

Clearly I didn't pay attention and I failed to read the notice that the perfume was "non-returnable".   It also clearly explained why they couldn't do 2 day shipping.

I wouldn't have guessed that you couldn't return perfume.  But now I know. 

The lesson of course is simple : Make sure to read policies when ordering items online.

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